Sunscreen is important for all of your skin, not just your scarred areas. But when it comes to your scars, it’s even more important to give them extra TLC as part of your sunscreen application. Did you know that scars are much more sensitive to sunlight than normal skin areas with no scarring? The American Academy of Dermatology says new scars in particular are vulnerable to UV rays due to their redness and rawness.
And don’t think those older white scars you have are safe from the sun – they will just get whiter without protection. Also, don’t assume that you can tan your scars to match the rest of your skin. That won’t happen due to the scar’s hyperpigmentation that results in discoloration and more intense hues.
Which is the Right Sunscreen to Use on Scars?
Using the right sunscreen for your needs is important. Be on the hunt for an SPF between 30 – 50 and 150 for your scar. No need to go higher than that. It’s just overkill, plus very high SPF lotions contain extra ingredients and chemicals that can lead to irritation such as hives and rashes.
There are sunscreens out there designed specifically for sensitive scarred skin. Ask your dermatologist for a prescription if you can’t find any in the store. In general, the best sunscreens for scars include:
- Broad-spectrum UVA/UVB (SPF 30+).
- Physical sunblock instead of chemical sunblock (zinc oxide).
- Sensitive skin formulas with no fragrance.
- Sheer finish with no white cast on the skin.
- Lightweight so that you can layer it under makeup and it won’t clog pores or streak.
How Often to Apply
Before you even go out of the house, slather on the sunscreen 15 minutes prior. Then, apply every hour after that, especially if you’re sweating a lot or you’re in and out of the pool or ocean.
In addition to preventing wrinkles and skin cancer, dermatologists stress the importance of sunscreen to lessen the appearance of scars while preventing scar discoloration. The American Academy of Dermatologists says you should regularly use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30+ after the wound has healed. This will reduce red or brown discoloration, allowing the scar to fade faster. On top of discoloration, sunlight can also compromise collagen production on your scarred skin. Protecting your skin from UV exposure will reduce inflammation and the formation of free radicals. When inflammation occurs, this interrupts the formation of new collagen, compromising the normal healing process.
Don’t have a tube of Scarfade yet? Pick one up today and start using it before the nice weather gets you outside more and more. We have different sizes available to suit your unique needs. It’s best to apply it twice a day, especially in the humidity.